Sunday, July 31, 2011

JOY

Right people, right place, right time equals one lucky happy humpback whale.





I am always astonished when I encounter people who believe that we are the only mammals that can experience emotions such as joy and exuberance. Watching this video confirms my opinion, what she felt was clearly joy and relief. As did I.

My gratitude to the rescuers for saving a majestic life.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Space: The Final Frontier, To Boldly Go Where No One...Never Mind

The cold war was a time period that led to the golden age of scientific funding, exploration and discovery. The space race ensured that time limits were set and met.

On July 21, 1969, half a billion people listened to Neil Armstrong say the most famous words uttered by a human being in space: "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind".

Aspiring American astronauts better learn some foreign languages fast, if they want to hitch a ride to space.




Spasiba and dosvidaniya, STS-135

Monday, July 11, 2011

Google! What Are You Up To?

You have probably already heard that Google +, currently in beta version, is launching soon. Internet rumor has it that blogger will be renamed Googleblog. Try saying that in rapid succession. Googlebleck. Googooboo. George Bob. Huh? Why not.

It would have been nice for them to announce it on...let's see...blogger buzz, perhaps? At least preferable to experiencing blogger meltdown, chasing widgets that disappear and reappear or wasting time troubleshooting while wondering, what did I do now?

Information is sparse, all I am aware of is that private profiles will be deleted on July 31, 2011 or sooner. What does that actually mean for bloggers or readers? Will it affect us? Anyone know? In addition, as of August, Google will no longer support anything but the newest browser versions. If you have not done so already, now would be a good time to update your browsers.

Time, so elusive and hard to find, which is why I chose the allegedly "simple and stable" blogger platform, despite the fact that other platforms have better templates. Time...Wasted time...Remembering that time is infinite, while my time is not....Where was I? Oh, yes.

This will make it easier for targeted marketing to find us. I am well aware that 95% of revenue for our friendly "free" giant comes from advertising.  "Recommended for you" has never worked for me, undoubtedly the next time I stop to look at something that evokes: "Cool. Someone sculpted a detailed reproduction of the Serenity (Firefly)....Out of cake?!," I will be targeted with cupcake recipes and where to buy them.

I thought it would be a good use of my time to start working on my public profile:

Name:     Sigyisfor Kyiirneayrokull (Maybe something with Umlauts, make it sound more Icelandic? I will never remember how to sign in again).
Location: Planet Earth, orbiting a G-Class star. (Just in case extraterrestrials need to advertise as well)
Age:        12 going on 2000.
Household members: Trillions, I am including microscopic lifeforms. Gross underestimate.
Marital Status: Is this a census?
Interests: Swearing at blogger and inanimate objects that suddenly appear in my path.
Likes:       Privacy. I also enjoy breathing.
Dislikes:    Invasion of Privacy. Not breathing.
Occupation: Of space and time. Sometimes it feels territorial.
Goals:      Training cats to stop sleeping on the remote controls. (Spawn does not like to be moved). Getting blogger to align tabs. And world peace.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

CLIMATE CHANGED: A Brief Introduction

The Ironworks at Coalbrookdale
This is the first in a series of posts that I have been avoiding. It was thought about, discussed in RL for a long time, yet I held on to the irrational belief that somehow, miraculously, scientists of various scientific fields would turn out to be wrong.

I have hinted at it in past posts, my readers already know, but until it began happening in people's own backyard the facts were dismissed or denied. Across the interwebs, I still come across comments such as "What is going on?" in response to certain natural disasters, such as unusual storms and floods, which made me wonder if some people simply prefer to live in denial. This post is not about fearmongering or even directed at my "fellowers", but a reaction to the ignorification of the public by the media and other mostly self-interested sources.

A fellow blogger and friend Sprite, who has been through the January floods in Australia, encouraged me to write about it.

Disclaimer: The following "news" may cause some readers to assume the fetal position.

Contrary to the Apocalyptics, the end is not near, but the climate has changed. Past tense. Irreversible for now, we might be able to slow down the rate of change, but at present time we do not have the technology or even the intent to stop it.

On a global scale, we still do not know or understand how our climate and weather patterns are "created" or all of the variables that affect our climate. The computing power to do that on a global scale, i.e. the ability to take all the factors into consideration, does not exist yet.  This makes accurate weather prediction nearly impossible. It is possible that the last couple of years were indeed a more extreme display, brought on by an active El Nino/La Nina cycle, of what is yet to come.

There are numerous causes, but no immediate solutions. Yet. Even if we were to stop all CO2 emissions at this moment, we do not have the technology to capture or remove the CO2 that we have been emitting into our atmosphere for at least 150 years or possibly since the Industrial Revolution began. CO2, which is not only a greenhouse gas, but acidifying our oceans.

However, if our focus were to shift there are possibilities. If we and by we I mean our entire human species re-prioritized what is important we could at least begin to ameliorate the problem.

Hang on to your roofs, basements, ice cubes and umbrellas, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

To be continued...

The Ironworks at Coalbrookdale 1801
By Philip de Loutherbourg (1740-1812)
Collection Science Museum, London